Top 5 Reasons Why Dogs Like Your Clothes


It’s not uncommon for dog owners to see their furry friend either running away with or cuddling up to a piece of their clothing. This can be either super cute or quite annoying. So what is their obsession with your clothes anyways? Is this bad behavior that should be avoided?

Dogs like your clothes because they’re an extension of you. If you’re not home they get comfort from smelling items that have your scent to make them feel like you’re around. If you are home they likely know that they’ll get attention by stealing a piece of your clothing.

In this post, we’ll discuss all that you need to know about your furry friend’s obsession with your clothes, whether their interest in your clothes is normal, and more clothing-related situations you probably find you and your doggo in.

Let’s jump right in, shall we!

Top 5 Reasons Dogs Like Your Clothes

From loving your smell and finding comfort, to finding a calming mechanism and wanting your attention, here are the five top reasons why your dog takes such a large interest in your clothes.

They Like That They Have Your Scent

Your dog loves your clothes because it smells like their favorite thing in the entire world: you! 

Your four-legged friend is your biggest fan, so it should come as no surprise that they are totally obsessed with all things related to you; including the way that you smell.

Dogs are well-known for their tip-top sense of smell, which can pick up and trace hundreds of scents. Of all the yummy and interesting smells out there, the smell of their beloved human is still their favorite. 

They’re Warm And Comfortable To Lie On

Warm blankets and expensive dog beds are great, but have you ever seen your dog catch a snooze on your favorite sweater or that one jacket that seems to always have dog hairs on it?

For the same reason that we like our sweaters and other pieces of clothing your dog likes your clothes as well!

When they lie on or cuddle up to a piece of your clothes it’s warm and comfortable.

Not to mention it also smells like you as we mentioned in the last section which gives even more comfort.

They Help Make Them Feel Calm 

The smell and feel of your clothes may help your four-legged-friend feel comfortable in stressful times. 

This fact could be beneficial to both you and your dog, especially if your dog struggles with separation anxiety. 

When you are going out for the day, or even longer and your dog is staying with someone, leave an old piece of your clothing with your pet to comfort them when they might feel stressed. 

You could also leave a piece of your clothing with your pet if stressful events are going to occur, such as a thunderstorm. You could also place an item of your clothing near them if they were to go to the doggy parlor or if they need to sleep over at the vet.

The smell of their favorite person on earth can help make them feel comforted.

They Want To Play/Want Your Attention 

So we’ve covered reasons why your dog might love your pieces of clothing for comforting reasons, but why on earth do dogs insist on snatching clothes (usually dirty ones too)? 

Believe it or not, but chances are that your rambunctious doggo isn’t being naughty, but actually just wants your attention. 

The next time your dog snatches a pair of your socks from the laundry basket, they might want to activate play time. Instead of scolding them, grab one of their toys and initiate a quick play session.

They Like The Taste Or Sensation 

There are so many little (adorable) habits that dogs have, including the fact that they love to lick you. 

Have you ever wondered why dogs lick your clothes? As mentioned before, your dog loves your smell, which is why they might lick your pants or shirt. Your dog probably loves the taste of your laundry detergent (because it reminds them of their favorite person in the world: you!). 

Is It Normal For My Dog To Like My Clothes?

It’s absolutely normal for a dog to like your clothes.

It would actually be rather abnormal for them not to like your clothes!

Dogs experience the world mostly through their nose and mouth. This means that they know your scent like the back of their… paw.

And what better way to taste/smell you even when you’re not around than by surrounding themselves in what you wear. It’s really an endearing act for them to snuggle up with something you wear often.

It can definitely be irritating when they snatch a sock or something else and go for a run though!

Why Does My Dog Cuddle With Things I Use And Not What I Buy For Them?

Dog’s will more often than not choose to lie on or cuddle with things that smell like their loved ones than something without a scent.

Whenever you buy something new for your pup it doesn’t come with a familiar scent. Whether it’s a new bed or a blanket, it might be comfortable enough for a human to sleep on/with, it hasn’t been broken in; scent-wise.

The smell of something can be even more important than the actual comfort for some dogs.

When they choose to lie with something you often use over a new dog bed you got them for example, they simply prefer the comforting smell of their pack leader. If you want to help them warm up to something new you’ve bought them try placing a piece of your clothing on the bed, blanket, etc.

Then when they’re lying on the item you bought them they’ll start liking other things about it and eventually won’t need your scent to enjoy it.

Why Does My Dog Steal My Dirty Laundry?

Are you even a dog owner if your pet hasn’t stolen something from your laundry basket? Dogs are fond of snatching anything from socks and shirts to underwear when their human isn’t looking. 

Being chased is one of the most fun games a dog likes to play.

And based on the past, they know that when they grab something from your hamper or on the ground, they’re going to be chased.

Dog’s will do just about anything for their owners attention. Good or bad isn’t super important to them. If they know that they can do something and it will bring you to them for any sort of interaction, they’re going to do it.

Snatching a piece of your dirty clothes is usually an easy path to some attention, the clever bugger!

Why Does My Dog Take My Shoes When I Leave?

If you notice when you come home one of your other pairs of shoes is missing its partner there’s a good chance you know who the culprit is.

Your dog takes your shoes when you’re gone for two reasons. One, they like to smell something that reminds them of you while you’re gone (even stinky feet!). And two, they want your attention when you come home.

Dog’s are very habitual creatures and they are actually quite smart at picking up on patterns. If they do something and it gets a reaction from you that they like, they’ll continue to do it.

Again, good or bad is really indifferent. If you’re giving them attention, that’s what’s most important to them.

So if in the past you have come home, seen them with a shoe, gone over, grabbed your shoe from them, called them a silly goose and gave them a rub… They’re more than likely going to keep doing it for that brief interaction.

Some dogs will even tear up shoes or other items in your home to ‘get back at you’ for leaving them. And when you yell at them and say that what they’ve done is bad, they’ve still gotten your attention even though it was in a negative way.

Final Thoughts

At some point in time almost every dog owner has wondered why their dog seems to like their clothes so much. It can really be broken into two categories, comfort and attention.

When they lie on your clothes it’s because they get a lot of comfort out of being surrounded by your scent. If they’re stealing your clothes it’s because they want your attention.

It’s definitely normal for dogs to like their owners’ clothes. If you want to stop the stealing, you’ll have to do your best not to give them a reaction when you notice what they’ve taken.

Other posts you might find interesting:

Can a Dog Love You Too Much? (5 Signs They Do!)

Can a Dog Love Two Owners? (The Truth!)

Alec Littlejohn

Founder and Reviewer at Pawscessories. He is a lifelong canine enthusiast and adores dogs of all shapes and sizes! He grew up in a family of vets and to this day he helps out around the family clinic and shares his learnings on Pawscessories. Learn more about Alec's story here

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